The Ultimate Guide to Woke Celebrity Bros
From Mark "Bernie Bro" Ruffalo to Matt "Men Cry Too" McGorry, Hollywood is experiencing a renaissance in that most rare and delicate flower: a woke male feminist.
Screenshot via CollegeHumor
Hey girl, what's up with all the celebrity feminist bros? At the end of March, Chris Hemsworth came out as a feminist in an interview with Radio Times while promoting The Huntsman: Winter's War—a movie so feminist, it cast three leading actresses but named itself after its male protagonist. When asked the question, Hemsworth replied: "Oh yeah, for sure. My mum's a big feminist. I think that my views on things, as far as respect for women and so on, came from my mum."
As you, me, or any other headline-thirsty showbiz publication knows, the latest way to a female reader's heart isn't by describing a Hollywood hunk's strong jawline or remarkably chiseled abs—it's by ascertaining his social justice credentials. How does he feel about women's rights? Does he lean in? How does he feel about the wage gap? What are his thoughts on white privilege? Bernie bros: yes or no?
Hemsworth is just one of the many Hollywood men who have transcended their manly roots to do the riskiest and most dangerous thing that a wealthy, conventionally attractive, white cis man can do: identify as a woke feminist. Here, we celebrate the other actor bros who have done the same.
Perhaps the archetypal woke celebrity bro, Gosling ascended to the status of feminist hero by merely looking handsome in a pair of glasses and being nice about his female co-stars. Today, we ask more of our celebrity bros—for example, they must now own at least two Elena Ferrante books and have a passing knowledge of Emma Goldman. But in 2011? That shit was gold dust.
Read More: The Broadly Guide to Male Feminism
In Mad Men, Jon Hamm played an advertising bro who enjoys drinking rye whiskey, bedding women, and landing contracts—in that order. In real life, Jon Hamm regularly mocks his own astounding good looks by playing absolute morons, including a gameshow-obsessed cult leader (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and a man so stupid that he has to narrate his sex acts to keep track of what's going on (Bridesmaids). He was also in Minions, but let's not hold that against him. After all, if a career built on depicting men as totally abject wastes of earthly matter isn't dismantling the patriarchy, what is?
Joseph Gordon Levitt
He starred in 3rd Rock From the Sun when he was 15, and his views on women are out of this world! (I mean, out of this world in a good way.) Levitt has lip synced to Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" in lipstick. (Subversive!) He made Don Jon, a film about how pornography is terrible for everyone, especially if you are a 'roided out New Jersey bro, as an homage to his feminist mom. (Respectful!) He also came out as a feminist on the Ellen Degeneres Show (brave!) before making a YouTube video explaining, again, why he was a feminist (viral!). In short, Joseph Gordon Levitt may look like a fuckboy who did his dissertation on Anne Sexton and ghosted you in semester year, but he is a true ally.
Mark Ruffalo's profile may have gotten a boost when Spotlight won an Oscar for Best Picture, but let's not fool ourselves: he really became a true feminist hero when he starred in 13 Going on 30, a movie that showed that 30-year-old women can still find love, even if they are actually in the throes of a psychotic breakdown that makes them think they haven't graduated middle school. Mark Ruffalo is the "yes, sometimes" answer to the question "can Bernie bros be hot, or am I just attracted to their progressive yet potentially fiscally unworkable views on college education and taxing the one percent?"
After wrapping up Gossip Girl, the actor formerly known as Dan Humphrey immediately grew a beard, got acquainted with the various skin tone options of the raised fist emoji, and began retweeting Ta-Nehisi Coates. I like to think of this as a pointed response to Gossip Girl's portrayal of New York as a dystopian hellscape solely populated by bourgeoisie white trust fund brats who will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes, but he's probably just collecting material for Dan Humphrey's second novel.
If you read a book about the institutional racism of the US criminal justice system and don't take a picture with it, did it even happen? Matt McGorry would say, "No. Of course not. Also, here is a topless selfie of myself with Michelle Alexander's excellent book, The New Jim Crow." Here is Matt McGorry, the Orange is the New Black actor, on how feminism is just like falling in love. Here he is, crying because men can cry too, you know. Here he is again, on Emma Watson's UN address: "YAAAAASSSS QUEEN! YAAS." Would you like to buy Matt McGorry's feminist T-shirt, of which proceeds benefit the pro-choice organization NARAL? Of course you would. Listen, we're all allies here, pal.